With July 4 coming up, here are three books that look at the nation's past.
The Fourth of July and the Founding of America: The Shocking Truth Behind the Birth of Our Country (Overlook) by Peter de Bolla is a historian's take on what the holiday really represents. Think it commemorates the day the Declaration of Independence was signed? Think again.
American Passage: The History of Ellis Island (HarperCollins) by Vincent J. Cannato recounts the story of the tiny New York island, now a national monument, that was the gateway to the United States for more than 12 million immigrants.
The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Founding Fathers (Regnery) by Brion McClanahan is a conservative historian's argument that, among other things, the founders of our country never intended it to be a democracy and never believed everyone is equal.
Colette Bancroft, Times book editor